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watson
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VBMWMO #9286
Joined: 05/15/2017
Posts: 58

Hi everyone, I am new here and I would like to introduce myself and ask a general question. While I am new to the airhead world, I am a long time collector and restorer of vintage British bikes. I currently have one BMW in the garage, a 93 K75S, and I love it. Lately I have developed an urge to try an airhead and I am looking at a couple of options. I recently rode a 63 R60/2 and I found it to be a great ride. After doing a bit of reading I learned a little about the changes that came with the slash five bikes and that has me leaning in that direction. It seems that the slash fives have some good upgrades and they are more reliable. I found a nice 72 R75/5 toaster tank for $5,500 and I am going to look at it this week. Before I go, I would like to learn a bit more about my options. First of all, the R60/2 that I rode was very smooth with adequate but not neck snapping power. I compared it to an R69S and I liked the R60 better for the kind of riding that I want to do. My question is, does that hold true for the slash fives? Is the R60 smoother than an R75, and does the R60 have good power for nice cruising? My local craigslist also has a nice R60/5 Toaster for $4,500 and I am wondering if that would be a reasonable alternative. I realize that these are subjective questions and that everyone has the own favorites. I am just looking for some general guidance as to what the pros and cons are of the R60 and R75.

Thanks,

Doc

khittner
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VBMWMO #8223
Joined: 02/15/2012
Posts: 371
The engine designs changed

The engine designs changed substantially between the /2 and /5 series motorcycles. I have not ridden a R60/5, but the 750cc and, a bit later, the 800cc, BMW airhead engines were reputed to be the smoothest of their generations. The /5 series pre-dated the start of my motorcycling history, but it's been my understanding that the crankshaft counterweights in the /6 and /7 engines (and maybe true for the /5 engines, as well) were optimized for the 750cc and 800cc pistons, and that both the 600cc and 900cc engines, thus, had a bit more vibration. My own comparative experiences with an 800cc and several 900cc airheads seem to confirm this---the 800 was (after break-in---which actually did take about 20K miles, as my mechanic predicted!) very, very smooth; the 900s were always somewhat less so, even with higher mileages. Of course, there may be no BMW that compares with your present K75 for turbine-smooth---but a 750 airhead will sound a lot nicer than a K (compressor "pucka-pucka" vs. runaway sewing machine) while motoring along. Smile Go test-ride both and decide for yourself, but I think you'll be happier with the 750, whether its somewhat greater power output matters to you, or not.

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Konrad

watson
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VBMWMO #9286
Joined: 05/15/2017
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Thanks, this is what I am

Thanks, this is what I am looking for. You are right in that I need to ride both the R60 and the R75. It is a bit of a challenge in that there are not too many for sale in my area. As far as smooth goes, I was shocked when I rode the R60/2. If anything, it was smoother than my K75 and it did sound nice. Time to try the R75 for sure. I am looking at slash fives because I do like the older styling of the headlight and instruments in one unit.

Thanks again,

Doc

RickR90s
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Farmington Hills, MI
Joined: 11/28/2016
Posts: 63
I'll just add that I owned a

I'll just add that I owned a R75/5 for about 12 years (actually my wife's bike), and it was very, very satisfying to ride around town and short trips. It didn't compare to my R90s in terms of power or wind protection, but the motor was very, very smooth and I loved the torque curve. IOW, It pulled like a tractor from low revs, and could more than hold its own cruising at 70 on freeways, when needed.

I once worked on a R60/5 and during the test ride, I thought it was missing a cylinder, the power was so abyssmal. LOL!

If it were me, I would go for the R75/5 as it's motor is is more "real world" in terms of every day use. It has an oil filter, electric start and 12 volt electrics.

I rode a R60/2 once and again, kept wondering how anyone could ride one on the freeway and not get run over.

just my $.02

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RickR90s

watson
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VBMWMO #9286
Joined: 05/15/2017
Posts: 58
Thanks for the information, I

Thanks for the information, I am leaning toward the R75/5.

Doc

swampyankee
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New England
Joined: 08/21/2013
Posts: 9
I have no basis for

I have no basis for comparison between the R60 and R75, having only had R90's and R100's, and currently owning an R75/6. But having owned a few BSA 650's, I find a similarity between my airheads and my old BSA's. The more raw mechanical nature of a Brit twin is present to some degree in an Airhead. The power of my BSA seemed to be a bit more edgy and "there" compared to a bit more refined boxer engine, but the R75 seems to have the same type of torque band - low and mid range pull. I was disappointed that the R75 seems to have much less oomph than my R100RS (less enough that I plan to do a compression check to see if the engine could use a top end refresh). But compared to the R100RS, the R75 is a very nimble, lighter feeling machine, very much like a Brit twin.

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76 BMW R75/6
65 Benelli Sprite

312Icarus
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Joined: 07/15/2016
Posts: 348
Never having owned either, or

Never having owned either, or more precisely, having only owned a /2 (in BMW's) my favorite BMW is the R75/7 with full dresser fairing. I rode one a lot years ago and after my /2 it was as, well a BMW compared to a VW. Mind you I love and still ride my /2 as my only bike, but if a 75/7 came along I would have to convince my wife that I needed it...fat chance!

Icarus

PS Not counting the R90s I rode once in a while back in the day, great bike, but not the tourer the 75 is.

I

watson
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VBMWMO #9286
Joined: 05/15/2017
Posts: 58
Thanks everyone, I am

Thanks everyone, I am actually looking at buying a /2 as well as a /5. In the /2 world, I have a tentative opportunity on a R60/2. I am just waiting on the owner to make the final call. I am still searching for a good /5 and it sounds like a R75/5 is what most folks here prefer. I do want to ride a R60/5 to see what they are like before I buy either bike.

Doc

schrader7032
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VBMWMO #7032
San Antonio, TX
Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 6652
Personally, I think a 1976

Personally, I think a 1976 R90/6 would be better. More horsepower and I don't think the balance is compromised. Another good thing about the '76 model is that the engine case opening is 99mm which allows direct bolt-on of 1000cc cylinders/heads. If you have an earlier bike, the opening is 97mm and options are a little limited for upgrades like that.

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Kurt in S.A.
'78 R100/7 '69 R69S '52 R25/2

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